(Minghui.org) I used to be a tough woman. No one dared to take advantage of me at work and nobody said no to me at home. When I was in my 30s, however, all kinds of illnesses started to bother me, making me realize that there were things that were beyond my control.
It was in this circumstance that I came across Falun Dafa in 1996. Not long afterward, all my symptoms were gone and, more importantly, I learned to be a better person.
Here I would like to talk about my experience of running my own daycare center.
Opening a Daycare Center
I used to work at a state-owned daycare center. It did not do well and ended up laying off all the employees. To make a living, I rented a place and started my own daycare center. But I wasn’t sure how things would go since there were already two other daycare centers nearby.
I hired one employee in the beginning. Not long after that, I heard about the story of Ling. Both she and her husband are Falun Dafa practitioners just like me. But after her husband was sent to a labor camp because of his belief, Ling, who was not working at the time, struggled to support herself and their daughter. I then invited her and her daughter to live in my daycare center. Ling is agile, kind, and open-minded. She worked together with me and my other employee to take care of the kids. She really helped me a lot. The kids liked her very much.
Considerate of Others
As Dafa practitioners who follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Ling and I treated every child with compassion. Newly admitted children were very hard to look after as they cried all day long, probably due to separation anxiety. To prevent them from bothering other kids during nap time after lunch, Ling and I often took turns carrying the crying children in our arms or on our backs and walk around to calm them down. Some kids did not eat well, so we then fed them patiently.
My daycare center offered lunch to the children. Ling never discarded the children’s leftover food and often ate it. I said she did not have to do that since we had enough food.
“We Dafa practitioners cannot waste food,” she explained, “Plus, when I was detained for my belief, there was never enough food to eat.” Because of practicing Falun Dafa, she was once sent to a labor camp.
Some younger children often soiled their pants, which was always a headache for me, but Ling was never bothered.
“No worries, I will take care of that,” she would say.
She rolled her sleeves up and changed the kids’ pants. I would bring some warm water and Ling would clean up the child with the water. Very often her hands got dirty, but she just cleaned up and did not complain.
Once a woman begged us to accept her 18-month-old granddaughter named Qiqi since we only took in children at least two years old. I changed my mind after hearing her story. Before Qiqi was one month old, her parents were divorced and her daughter was given full custody. Her daughter worked out of town, leaving her to take care of the child herself while working as a school teacher. She struggled as a full-time working grandmother.
“I heard you are a Falun Dafa practitioner and you are a nice person,” she said, “I only trust you. Please help me. I don’t mind paying extra money as long as you accept her.”
I knew accepting such a young child would mean much more additional work, but as a Falun Dafa practitioner, I knew I needed to be considerate of others as Master Li (founder of Falun Dafa) taught us. So I agreed to accept Qi without an additional fee. The woman was very happy. She specifically told me that only she alone could visit and pick up the child, no one else. She was often late for the pickup, but Ling treated Qiqi as her own child and never complained.
One day, Qiqi’s father came to see the girl. I was very polite and treated him nicely while explaining his ex-mother-in-law’s request of no other visitors. He was upset and said some bad words. Seeing the feud between him and his ex-mother-in-law, I knew it was not accidental for me to see. I had him sit down and took him a cup of water.
“I understand how you feel,” I said, “But I am a Falun Dafa practitioner who follows the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and we take good care of your little girl here. So please don’t worry about it.”
I briefly explained how Falun Dafa changed my viewpoint of my family and people around me. It may not be accidental for people to become one family, I explained. Sometimes people misunderstand each other, which may lead to negative opinions. But that does not necessarily mean they are bad people.
“Qiqi’s grandmother raises her all by herself and she has to work. But she still managed to look after your daughter very well. You are Qiqi’s father but are not paying any child support. No wonder your ex-mother-in-law is upset,” I added, “Falun Dafa has taught me to take a step back during conflicts and think from other people’s perspectives. This often helps us to find solutions.”
“Yes, thank you very much,” he nodded and said sincerely.
I called Qiqi’s grandmother and she arrived after a short time.
Qiqi’s father walked up to her and said, “Mom, I am sorry.”
She turned her head to the side and did not say anything. Just then, Ling had led Qiqi into the room. Her grandmother hugged her and said with tears, “Sweetheart, say hi to daddy.”
Seeing this, I was in tears too. The conflicts were resolved and the family left happily. Seeing them walk out of the daycare center, I knew it was the power of Dafa that brought them back together.
“I Won’t Leave Here Anymore”
One older child at the daycare center was named Yuxin. She enrolled and dis-enrolled in my daycare center three times. In the end, her mother brought her here again with her head lowered.
Seeing Yuxin come back again, I went up to welcome her. She ran to me, put her arms around me, and buried her head in me.
“I miss you so much,” she said, “Mom said I won’t leave here anymore.”
“I miss you too,” I said.
When it was time for pick up, Yuxin’s mother came and she looked embarrassed.
“We are back because you teach so well,” she said.
She told me she dis-enrolled her daughter a few times in the past because she had been misled by the Chinese Communist Party’s hate propaganda against Falun Dafa.
She was worried that I may lead her child astray as portrayed by the propaganda. But every time she enrolled her child elsewhere, she realized my daycare center was still better. After a few rounds of this, she was determined to never go elsewhere again.
“Yuxin learned so much here. She could do math very well instead of counting with her fingers. She also learned traditional Chinese culture and some poems from you. I am glad she is so fortunate to be here.”
I talked to her about Falun Dafa and clarified some defamatory propaganda from the CCP. She was receptive and said she knew the CCP had harmed numerous innocent people in the past as well. She also agreed to quit the CCP organizations.
“I could tell you are a very kind person,” she said, “We won’t leave again.”
Niuniu was a naughty boy. One day when picking him up, his grandmother greeted me with a smile.
“This morning, I had a fight with my husband and said some bad words,” she said, “Niuniu stopped me, saying that you’ve taught him to not fight back when being hit. This is because when someone does bad things to others, he or she would lose virtue. He asked me and his grandfather to both recite 'Falun Dafa is good' and 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.'”
She said Niuniu had improved a lot since coming to my daycare center.
“Now when doing something wrong, he would say sorry – he was not like this in the past,” added the grandmother, “Thank you so much!”
Surprise from Landlord
Five years passed and Ling went back to her previous job. With more kids enrolled in my daycare center, I hired two more people.
One day when I went to pay rent to the landlord, he look embarrassed.
“Xiao Hui, I can no longer rent you the place,” he said, “My daughter Xiao Wei also wants to open a daycare center.”
He gave me one month to move out.
I told my employees about this and they were all upset.
“This is bullying,” one of them said, “How can we move out in such a short time?”
“Probably they are aiming for our kids here,” another added, “I suspect his daughter wants to force us out and take over the daycare center with our kids.”
Actually I did find a place suitable for a daycare center before I rented the current place, but that homeowner was not now planning to lease or sell their property.
Upon learning of what happened, the parents were also anxious.
“Many of these kids will start kindergarten in six months,” one parent said, “Can you ask them to give you more time to move out?”
I got an idea to continue caring for the kids, so I went to talk to Xiao Wei.
“After you open your daycare center, could you hire me so that I can work here for six more months?” She smiled and said she would think about this.
A few days passed and she did not get back to me. I realized she had no intention to hire me at all. I felt very sad that I must leave here in another three weeks. Then I remembered that a practitioner should let go of attachments to fame and material interest, and be considerate of others. It is understandable that Xiao Wei wanted to have her own daycare business in her own home after working for another daycare center for a long time.
I decided to move out, and Xiao Wei was able to keep some of my kids in her new daycare center.
Blessing from Master Li
One day, a parent told me that a residence was for sale and suggested I take a look. It turned out it was the same place that I had checked out before. I was surprised that the owner had now decided to sell it.
My husband and I soon purchased the property. After cleaning things up, I found it was an ideal place for a daycare center: lots of sunlight with several rooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, and a large yard. I was thankful to Master Li and put a Falun emblem picture in some of the playrooms.
I soon opened a daycare center in the newly purchased property. Some of the kids in my old daycare center followed me to the new place. I hired another employee and started marketing my new daycare center. Many new parents came to check things out. I always talked with them about Dafa and many of them quit the CCP organizations.
I also reminded my teachers and aides to teach students traditional values and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. This way, the children would be well behaved. I told them stories of ancient wisdom and introduced them to Shen Yun.
With regard to food, I make sure to offer to provide high-quality, healthy meals to the children, even if it means more money spent on the food. I know some daycare centers cut corners on food to increase profits. As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I choose not to do that. I treat them as my own children and help them stay happy and healthy.
Teachers Want to Read Zhuan Falun
As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I need to be considerate of others. When my employees take time off due to emergencies, I never deduct their pay. In addition, I pay them better than other places. For families in poverty, I charge the child less tuition. Sometimes parents offer me gifts. If I was unable to turn them down, I would buy something else in return.
Seeing me treating everyone with compassion, some teachers asked for Zhuan Falun to read. Tongtong’s parents have divorced and her elderly grandmother is in poor health. Our teachers often go to her place to pick up Tongtong. One teacher often helps Tongtong take a bath, does her laundry, cuts her fingernails, and gives her her own child’s clothing to Tongtong.
“Teachers in this daycare center are great--they are all super nice people,” Tongtong’s grandmother often told others.
The teachers said they want to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance too.
As my center became so popular, more and more parents sent their children here. Some parents went to my husband hoping he could convince me to accept their children.
“It’s true we have reached capacity,” my husband said, suggesting they try other places.
“Everybody says here is the best. Children eat well and are well taught,” one parent said, “Your wife practices Falun Dafa. She is the best and we trust her.”
I play with the children all the time. During holidays or major festivals, we would have some activities and even invite parents to attend the interactive games. The children put on their favorite clothes and I asked a professional photographer to record these joyful moments. Everyone is happy, including children, parents, and teachers.
I have been running my own daycare center for more than ten years. I sincerely hope more people, children, and adults alike, could live happily and healthily. By cherishing traditional values and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I know we can achieve that.
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